Hope hailed by friends, family, fans
(CNN) -- The comic, the movie star, the avid golfer, the family man -- Bob Hope was an Everyman.
"The private Bob Hope was very much like the public Bob Hope. He was warm and full of fun," his daughter Linda Hope said at a Monday press conference.
"I think making people laugh, making people happy, bringing joy to whatever room he came into, I think that that was his goal in life and he shared that with his family as much as he shared that with the world," his granddaughter Miranda Hope told CNN on Monday.
Hope entertained weary troops overseas over a span of several decades and escaped death narrowly, according to a Larry King Live interview with Hope, when his hotel in Vietnam was bombed minutes before he arrived. He appeared in more than 50 films and fronted the popular Bob Hope Desert Classic golf tournament. And those are just a few of his lifetime achievements.
CNN gathered memories of Hope, following the news of his death Sunday at the age of 100, including comments from his granddaughter Miranda Hope, President George W. Bush and Hope's longtime friend and golf legend Arnold Palmer.
Miranda Hope saw her grandfather just a couple of months ago at Hope's 100th birthday party. She told CNN that despite his deteriorating health at the time of the celebration, he still expressed his good sense of humor and was able to say he was "still with us."
His association with the USO, in entertaining U.S. troops around the world, was a relationship of more than 50 years. "He just felt so strongly that those troops needed a bit of home to come to them on their darkest hour. I had the opportunity to go to the Persian Gulf with him in 1987. And he was a man who, if my math is correct, was 84 years old at the time, and he was working harder than anybody else on that plane," Miranda Hope said.
President Bush said Monday, "Bob Hope made us laugh, and he lifted our spirits. Bob Hope served our nation. ... He went to battlefields to entertain thousands of troops from different generations. We extend our prayers to his family, and we will mourn the loss of a good man. May God bless his soul."
Former President Jimmy Carter said Hope was "one of our nation's great treasures. He will always be remembered for his love, concern, and selfless devotion for the men and women in the armed services."
"Bob Hope was a truly great American and one of the premier entertainers of all time. GIs around the world have been grateful for his untiring devotion," said former President Gerald Ford.
"It is impossible to think of Bob Hope without smiling," Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of the late President Richard Nixon, told The Associated Press.
Hope's daughter Linda said on Monday, "Growing up, we got the first sort of preview of his radio monologues. He would try the jokes out on us at the table. Sometimes they'd work and other times, they didn't. And I think he used to say we were kind of a tough audience." She added, "He was really remarkable."
"He was a guy that enjoyed everything he did," said longtime friend Arnold Palmer. "And I spent a great deal of time with him over the years, played a lot of golf with him, and I think that his life meant laughter and making fun."
Palmer went on to analyze Hope's golf game. "He didn't have the speed of Tiger Woods coming through the ball, but he made good contact, and he hit the ball very well up until he couldn't play anymore."
Actress Vicki Lawrence, a veteran of Hope's USO shows, called his death "the end of a show biz legacy."
"You know, he's somebody you just never expected to go away," said Lawrence, who also appeared with Hope on television. "We all expected him to just be there forever, didn't we?"
"Meeting Bob Hope was meeting a champion. He was not only a great star but an entertainer and a friend of the entire world," Mickey Rooney, who appeared with Hope in the 1953 boxing comedy "Off Limits," told the AP.
"Bob Hope, like Mark Twain, had a sense of humor that was uniquely American, and like Twain, we'll likely not see another like him," Dick Van Dyke told the AP.
Melville Shavelson, who co-authored a book with Hope titled "Don't Shoot, It's Only Me: Bob Hope's Comedy History of the U.S.," shared a funny story with CNN on Monday about the late entertainer. "I was one of the first who came out here in 1938 to put him on the air for the first time with 'The Bob Hope Pepsodent Show.' And we've known each other off and on all of that time, which is almost too long."
Shavelson talked of meeting Hope for the first time. "[Hope] met us at the door of his apartment holding our script, and he said, 'How much do you guys expect to be paid for writing this junk?' And he didn't use the word 'junk' either. ... My partner said, 'A hundred dollars a week.' And Bob said, 'Each?' And my partner said, 'Each.' And Bob said, 'That's a little rich for my blood.' And we walked out."
Shavelson went on to say, "The next week we had the deal."
"He was very much at home in the TV studio or on stage live anywhere; that is where he really lived. And, you know what, it was never a chore for him. It was never nerve-racking. He was always so completely prepared by his tremendous organization that he had put together," comedian Phyllis Diller told the AP.
Fans of Hope phoned in their thoughts to CNN.
Ronnie from Arizona suggested a "Bob Hope Day" should officially be added to the calendar and added, "This country has lost a magnificent man."
Jeff from Louisiana said of Hope's death, "It hurts me."
War veteran Victor Ayola rolled people in their hospital beds out to see Hope perform in Germany during the Vietnam War. "I used to go take [Bob Hope] over to the patients, and it was a thrill for me, the great comedian like he was. He was [the] real, real pride of the theater business, and a man with a heart of gold for every individual in the world, because he was a great comedian and he loved to entertain people."
Ayola added, "He was really a gentleman at heart."